Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ilongga nurse trapped under NZ quake debris

An  Ilongga  nurse was trapped in a  building destroyed by  the 6.3 magnitude  earthquake  that  jolted Christchurch City in New Zealand on Tuesday, a report of Bombo Radyo Iloilo said.
The report identified her as Mary Louise Ann Amantillo, 23, a native of  Balasan, Iloilo and a graduate of University of San Agustin in Iloilo City.
Her mother,  Linda,  who  talked  to  Bombo Radyo  Iloilo,  said her daughter was attending class in one of the buildings at King’s Education, an  English language training  school, when the earthquake struck.
Regional Director  Sara  Salcedo of   the  Department of Foreign Affairs 6 confirmed yesterday  that  Amantillo  was among  the  at  least 10  missing Filipinos in  Christchurch City following the earthquake as reported by the Philippine Consulate in New Zealand.
Mrs.  Amantillo said she talked to her daughter after the incident and Mary Louise Ann informed her that she was  trapped  in  a building.
She  said  she  was situated  next  to  another  foreigner who was a already dead.
However, as of yesterday noon,  a  worried  Mrs. Amantillo  said their family already lost contact with her daughter.
The News Today contacted Mary Louise Ann’s cousin, Rex Estipona, over the phone yesterday but he said  he  could  not  yet  provide information regarding the rescue efforts involving his cousin.
According to the DFA, there was no confirmed Filipino casualty from the earthquake.
There are about 2,000 Filipinos living in Christchurch and its nearby areas.
In Manila, the Philippine News Agency reported that a few Filipinos are reportedly among the victims  earthquake in New Zealand, prompting  the Philippine Embassy in Wellington to dispatch a team to  Christchurch to verify reports of injuries.
Quoting the embassy, the DFA said a Filipino named Jay Payot sustained injuries to his arms and that five Filipino students are trapped inside the collapsed CTV Building in New Zealand’s second biggest city.
The embassy team will also make an accounting of the 2,000 Filipinos  in the city.
Hotline numbers 834-4448 and 834-4596 had been set up for families and friends to contact for information, donations and other assistance,  Charge d’Affaires Giovanni Palec said.
Palec  also reported that rescue efforts have started, with Honorary Consul to Christchurch, Zedric Peter Wait, leading the efforts.
Wait was quoted as saying that electrical power remains spotty and telephone lines are still down, thus making it difficult to establish contact. Water pipes have burst and some roads are impassable.
New Zealand declared itself in a state of calamity, with nearly 400 people dead or missing in the aftermath of the biggest natural disaster that hit the country in decades. The embassy reported that Prime Minister John Keys had flown to Christchurch for a personal assessment of the tragedy.*with reports from PNA
Source: Jennifer Ponsaran-Rendon, The News Today

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